Apple’s AirPods have quickly become the best selling wireless headphones and are now the second-best selling Apple product. The small white buds have quickly become ubiquitous across the U.S. and are many people’s go-to wireless earbud option. This week, Apple has refreshed the AirPods with a newer model, giving them additional features. These new second generation AirPods look identical to the first generation on the outside, but on the inside much has changed. Utilizing Apple’s new H1 Chip (as opposed to the W1 chip inside the first generation), the new AirPods are able to pair to your iPhone more quickly than ever, and are now able to switch between devices in a much shorter time-frame (a common complaint with the first generation AirPods). Additionally, the new AirPods offer lower latency, which means audio will be more in sync with videos and games. Battery life as also seen an improvement, with talk time now up to 3 hours on a single charge.
Perhaps the biggest feature of these new AirPods does not have anything to do with the earbuds themselves. The case that the new AirPods ship with is now wireless-charging enabled. This means that AirPods can now be charged wirelessly using any Qi-enabled wireless charging pad. Additionally, the new AirPods with Wireless Charging Case will be compatible with Apple’s upcoming AirPower Mat, which will charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, all wirelessly. For those of you with first generation AirPods, don’t fret! Apple is looking to share the wireless charging features with all AirPods owners. The Wireless Charging Case is cross-compatible with both generations of AirPods, and is available for separate purchase for a reduced price. This means that if you already own a pair of AirPods, you are able to purchase the new Wireless Charging Case individually and use it with your first generation AirPods.
With the continued success of AirPods and the continued removal of analog headphone ports from mobile devices, the wireless headphone market will be one that will continue to evolve rapidly for the foreseeable feature. Seeing what features Apple will add to future AirPods to entice customers to continue purchasing them will be interesting, as will seeing how their competitors in the space will improve their products to compete.